When Michael Bonner committed to three-to-four years teaching at South Greenville Elementary, not far from East Carolina University, the 2013 Elizabeth City State University graduate had some idea of what he was getting into. What he didn’t know was just how much his job would change his life, and the lives of the kids in his classroom.
“I’m teaching at a school no one wanted to teach at,” said Bonner, 26.
Bonner was speaking on his phone while waiting for a plane at the Los Angeles International Airport. The fact that he was flying from Los Angeles back to Northeast North Carolina is a by-product of the work he’s done as a teacher.
That work, it turns out, is so special, and so significant, that The Ellen DeGeneres Show surprised him, and he was interviewed by the popular talk show host, a segment that aired Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. But it’s the story about what got him there, on the talk show, which has people talking about Michael Lee Bonner, a native of Perquimans County, North Carolina.